Outdoor adventures, gastronomic delights, arts & culture galore. In Franklin County, you can spend the morning in a kayak, enjoy a local craft beer in the afternoon, and catch a concert by a world-class musician at night. All without leaving your zip code.
In Franklin County, you can have the lifestyle you want, at a cost of living you’ll love. Wake up to lake views, settle down on a farm, or thrive downtown in the middle of the action. Whatever your style, you can find it here.
We’re right in the middle the East Coast. Centrally located between NYC and Atlanta, 2/3 of the US population is just a day’s drive away. You can hop in the car to reach a major metro or a beach bungalow in a matter of hours.
- Cost of Living & median home prices below the national average
- Short car ride from major metros like DC, Richmond, Charlotte, Atlanta, and NYC.
- Convenient travel by air, land, or sea. Virginia has a port, interstate, train, and airports.
Join a community of life-long learners. Franklin County boasts impressive student-teacher ratios, access to higher education, and public programs for seniors.
- Franklin County Public Schools has a 94% graduation rate and student to teacher ratio of 12:1
- High-quality community college and continuing education via Franklin Center + Virginia Western
- Free tuition for qualifying students through The Community College Access Program (CCAP)
- Ferrum College and nearby colleges & universities in Roanoke
Carilion Clinic is a non-profit, nationally ranked health system serving over 650,000 people in southwest Virginia. Carilion offers physician practice, cutting-edge cardiac and cancer care, as well as a Level 1 Trauma center. An early adopter of new technologies, Carilion invests in research through the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research.
- Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is Carilion Clinic’s flagship hospital and a major teaching affiliate of the University of Virginia. Ranked the No. 6 hospital in VA by US News & World Report, it offers superior cancer and cardiac care, state-of-the-art biotechnology, emergency air transportation, and more.
- Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, located in the heart of Rocky Mount, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital offers inpatient and outpatient services, therapy and rehabilitation, and services for women.
Things to Do
- Enjoy Franklin County’s great outdoors with a couple hundred of your favorite neighbors. Ramble Weekend--Franklin County Parks & Rec’s signature annual event—is three days of pure, nature-filled magic. Play disc golf, float down the Pigg River, go camping, catch a full line-up of live music, and be surprised by popup events by local organizations. A community-wide event—Ramble Weekend is not to be missed!
Concerts by Canoe
- The Concerts by Canoe series at Philpott Lake is one of the area’s most unique events. Franklin County Parks & Recreation presents this free concert series at Twin Ridge Recreation Area on Philpott Lake every summer. Bands perform on a floating stage at the water’s edge. Attendees are invited to bring their own canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, and tubes to paddle and float their way up near the stage and enjoy the music in a beautiful, natural setting.
Stand up Paddle Board Race at the Lake
- This annual event at Smith Mountain Lake begins at 9:00 on a sandy beach, where competitors race to their craft and follow 2.5, 5, or 7.5-mile routes around the lake. The fun continues with an awards ceremony, demos, and lunch.
Movies on the Move
- Fun for the whole family! An outdoor movie series, Movies on the Move, brings PG movies to different spots around Franklin County. Show up early to play lawn games and purchase popcorn, snacks, and drinks before settling onto your blanket or lawn chair to enjoy a movie under the stars.
River of Lights
- Imagine floating down a river under thousands of twinkling lights on a warm summer night in June. Sound like a dream? In Franklin County, dreams come true. Every Friday and Saturday night in June, Franklin County Parks and Rec offers nighttime tubing illuminated by lights strung across a half-mile of the Pigg River at Waid Park.
Food & Drink
Franklin County has been dubbed the “Moonshine Capital of the World.” Bootlegging drove the local economy during prohibition (Hollywood even made a movie about it), so distilling runs deep. Sample an art form honed over generations at our craft breweries and distilleries.
- Chaos Mountain Brewing
- Hammer & Forge Brewing Company
- Franklin County Distilleries
- Living Proof Beer Company
- Twin Creeks Distillery
Arts & Culture
- The Harvester Performance Center is an indoor, mid-sized music venue in the heart of Rocky Mount with great live performances in all kinds of genres. When we say all kinds, we really mean it. Past performances include The Beach Boys, LeAnn Womack, Three Dog Night, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra. There’s something for everyone at the Harvester.
The Crooked Road—Virginia Heritage Music Trail
- The Crooked Road winds through almost 300 miles of scenic terrain in southwest Virginia. Steeped in country and roots music tradition, Franklin County serves as the trail’s eastern gateway. With seven venues to explore, you’ll never lack ways to immerse yourself in the music of the mountains.
Blue Ridge Folklife Festival
- Have you ever wanted to watch a mule jumping contest? In Franklin County, you can. For nearly 50 years, on the 4th Saturday of October, The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival has gathered active practitioners of local folk traditions for the state’s largest event of its kind. Hailed by the New York Times as “thoroughly authentic,” the day features a fascinating mix of performances, activities, artisans, and vendors you won’t find anywhere else. Produced by Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute & Museum, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the rich wisdom and customs of the region!
Booker T. Washington National Monument
- Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in Franklin County, Virginia. After emancipation, he rose to prominence as an author, educator, presidential advisor, orator, and the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute. One hundred years after his birth, the US government designated the house where he was born as the Booker T. Washington National Monument.
- Years ago, when the Circuit Court Judge came to town, the community gathered to buy, sell, trade, make music, and mingle. The modern-day Court Days tips its hat to that tradition with a community fair in Downtown Rocky Mount. Enjoy music, a pie-eating contest, bake-offs, vendors, and more!
Franklin County prides itself on building a community that thrives. Here you’ll find that it’s big enough to make a difference but small enough to give you a voice.
Who we are
The Franklin County Board of Supervisors is made up of one member from each of the seven magisterial districts. Their mission is to, “provide services and leadership in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizen of Franklin County and to promote an outstanding quality of life.”
Relish Franklin County’s diverse local flavors. Satisfy your taste buds at our farmers’ markets, roadside stands, canneries, stores and more.
Franklin County is nestled along Highway 220, amid Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Development Services develops and administers plans, ordinances and programs to promote the public health, safety and welfare of present and future County residents.
Visit websites for important partners of the Franklin County Economic Development department, and learn more.